Al jaar qabla al daar (The neighbour before the house)

الجار قبل الدار

“The Neighbour before the House” is a series of video probes into the landscape of East Jerusalem. Shot with a security camera, these images show that before and after  instrumental "surveillance", there is inquisitiveness, jest, memory, desire and doubt that pervades the project of watching. In these specific times and places, camera movements and live commentary become ways in which Palestinian residents evaluate what can be seen, and speak about the nature of their distance from others.

A text by Florian Schneider:
When the Israeli government demolished the Moroccan Quarter in 1967, it was the fifth and smallest of old Jerusalem's neighbourhoods. Private property was converted into public space: the former Moroccan Quarter is now a large open plaza leading up to the Western Wall, in use as an open-air synagogue.
At first glance, the idea of a neighbourhood appears as the most obvious contradiction to the series of displacements, deferrals, distortions and fault lines existing on the surface of this highly volatile, contested and segmented city.
Neighbours are supposed to know each other. The neighbourhood is that part of the otherwise anonymous cityscape, where one is recognised, or where the subject is hailed. Neighbours can encounter each other without technical mediation; they meet and greet face to face, everything is within walking distance; Such a more or less homogenous local environment is ruled by specific circumstances that are characterised precisely by the fact that they are not globally valid, that are not exchangeable or even communicable. It is grounded in the production of a self that claims the right to the given territory: to be exactly and exclusively here, often as a result of ownership or property.
But this idealised notion of a setting and the staging for the production of  ‘everyday life’ on the threshold of public and private space, needs to be governed by an archaic rule that prevents the self from selfishness: watch out for the neighbour and "love him or her as yourself!" The Golden Rule of ethical reciprocity and fair play – -doing as one would be done by – treats the neighbour as the "other", who then becomes universal. The homogenisation of a local environment as a ‘neighbourhood’ then correlates with the moral purification of a community, a people, or humankind.

What we can see in the video project Al Jaar Qabla al Daar, is a neighbourhood in a state of permanent crisis. Spatial proximity does not produce any sense of community, but does the opposite. What was private space becomes public; what was private life becomes political. Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar sets out to reverse engineer the neighbourhood as a machine for self-monitoring and surveillance, one that normally turns contingency into consistency and the visible into the sensible.  Here the neighbourhood can only be encountered through a technological device that produces closeness and remoteness, which would otherwise remain entirely abstract. The constant zooming in and zooming out of the camera constitutes a rather peculiar artificiality of the picture: operational by a factor X that multiplies the amount of detailed information at the price of context. This is a regime of visibility that promises to provide access to what would otherwise, and in the true sense of the word, be inaccessible, since one would not be allowed to go there, or know how to understand what is going on.
The results are profane and deconsecrated icons that map lost properties as robbed and removed social relationships. And this is everything but self-explanatory: one needs a speech that goes against the grain of the all too obvious status quo. A speech that reads out the secrets of dispossession and renders every property decipherable as an appropriation; that is twisted and oblique, but nevertheless takes place in the first person.
It is the iconic quality of the pictures, their status as operational images, that marks the impossibility to make "a film" in the first place.  The neighbourhood is scattered and inaccessible, the neighbour is turning out to be  a monster. Going beyond the technical misuse of surveillance technologies, the filming methods open up to new potentials: a house becomes a support for a camera, a sort of tripod built from stones. The petrified position of the camera only allows movements on a fragile surface of the image. It is not possible to change the perspective and switch from one self to another.
There is an unforeseeable and incalculable quality of the material itself: the self-centeredness of the picture does not pretend to include or exclude anything or anyone; it can be virtually anywhere. It opens up a third realm that is neither subjective nor objective, a space which may be characterised by a new, radical form of hospitality that could allow us to escape the discourses of property, security and paranoia.

Credits

A first edited collection of footage from the project was exhibited at the Jerusalem Show, Jerusalem/ Al Quds in October 2009. 

Project credits: 

direction:
Shaina Anand
with: Ashok Sukumaran, Nida Ghouse, Mahmoud Jiddah, Shereen Barakat and Mahasen Nasser-Eldin

Curated by Jack Persekian and Nina Montmann
Produced with the support of Al Mamal Foundation for Contemporary Art, Jerusalem. 

Many thanks to : Abu Hassan, Ashraf Bakri, Darwish Kurd, Hovsep Nalbandian, Maali Adris, and Mohamed Saleh, Khadijeh Kanambo and Jumana Aboud for invaluable help with their time, technical resources, and spirit. 

Gallery: Al jaar qabla al daar (The neighbour before the house)
Palestine-Israel Double Bill

If Jerusalem is the capital of both Israel and Palestine, and on the eve of Netanyahu's visit to a historically Palestine-friendly India, we bring you two films with surprising images and voices...

The Neighbour Before the House Screening at New Museum

Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar

Screening and discussion with Ashok Sukumaran and Shaina Anand
New Museum Theater

New York
Saturday 16 July 2011 2:00pm

Jerusalem Show

الجار قبل الدار (Al jaar qabla al dar) The neighbour before the house

A new project by CAMP
at the Jerusalem Show
October 11 to October 20
6pm - 9 pm
Padico Center
Old City, Jerusalem

Screening: The neighbour before the house

الجار قبل الدار (Al jaar qabla al dar)

Screening of CAMP's Jerusalem project, followed by a talk.
at
The International Academy of Art Palestine.
Ramallah
October 15 2009
7:30 - 9:30 pm

The Neighbour before the House at Yerba Beuna Center for the Arts

Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar (The neighbour before the house)
72 minutes
is part of
The Matter Within
at
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts
San Francisco
October 15 2011 - January 29 2012

The Neighbour Before the House at Volte Gallery

Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar
at Volte Gallery, Mumbai
as part of
Your Name is Different Here curated by Nancy Adajania
December 3 2011 - January 5 2012

Al Jaar Qabla al Daar at Experimenter

The second segment of FILAMENT starts tomorrow, Tuesday, July 9, with CAMP's film, Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar (The Neighbour Before the House), 2009-11.
The work will be on view until Friday, 12 July with three shows daily at 2pm, 4pm & 6pm.
EXPERIMENTER
2/1 Hindusthan Road, Kolkata 700029

Al Jaar Qabla al Daar at Sharjah Biennial 10

A 72-minute film resulting from a video project shot in Jerusalem/ Al Quds with eight palestinian families, from and around their homes. Screenings are every 90 minutes starting 10 am, the last screening is at 8 pm. At Bait Al Serkal, Upto May 7, 2011.

PALESTINE: TERRITORY, MEMORY, PROJECTIONS

Al-Jar Qabl al-Dar The Neighbour before the House
MUCEM, Marseille
SATURDAY 11 MARCH 2017

Jerusalem Lives (Tahya Al Quds)

Opening Show of the Palestinian Museum
Birzeit
Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar
الجار قبل الدار
The Neighbour Before The House

We Begin by Measuring Distance

Works in Palestine by Basma Al Sharif and CAMP
at Cinema Project, Portland
November 8th, 2013
Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar (The Neighbour before the House)
60 mins

At the Radical Media forum, Goldsmiths London

Two works by CAMP
On Broken Networks and Neighbourhoods

October 18, 2013, RHB 137a, 6pm onwards

Al Jaar Qabla Al Daar
(The Neighbour Before the House)
60 mins.

Act II: Hum Logos
45 mins.

CAMP at FD Zone

Two films by CAMP


CCTV Social
The Neighbour before the House
at
RR Theatre
10th Floor
Films Division
Pedder Road, Mumbai
Saturday, 31st August, 2013
4:00 pm

Save As - India

Workshop, screening and exhibition as part of India Film Week, Trondheim, Norway
October 4-9, 2011

As If - II Flight of the Black Boxes

24 JORBAGH, New Delhi
January 27 - February 24 2015

Born in experimentation and uncertainty, black boxes of machines and institutions surround us with seemingly smooth and impenetrable functions. But reintroduce the uncertainty, reopen the conflicts, and the box appears stable in neither form nor function.

Twelve works by CAMP look out through the interior worlds of cameras, memory devices, surveillance systems and more, developing feelings and strategies along with them.

As If - II : A Closing Opening

Closing event
As If - II Flight of the Black Boxes

Talk will be from 6:00 pm to 7:30pm
On Tuesday 24th February
at 24, Jorbagh
The exhibition will remain open till 8:30 pm

Do join us for a closing day talk with Ashok Sukumaran of CAMP, and Aastha Chauhan, Shaunak Sen and Srinivas Aditya Mopidevi who will offer responses and questions to parts of the exhibition.

The Neighbour before the House

"The Neighbour Before the House deals with the effects and narrative remainders of a (warfare) technology and proposes a method of witnessing, a witness machine."



Evenings at CAMP Rooftop

A roof-top that has been active for ten years.

Past Present Future

A never-ending project housed at CAMP around peoples histories of Bombay-Mumbai.

R & R

A space we built and run with others, located in the R and R colony of Lallubhai Compound, Mumbai.

As If (I-V)

Save the Dates!

As If (I-V)

As If – I Rock, Paper, Scissors
EXPERIMENTER, Kolkata
January 7 - February 20 2015

As If – II Flight of the Black Boxes
24 JORBAGH, New Delhi
January 27 - February 24 2015

As If – III Country of the Sea
BHAU DHAJI LAD MUSEUM, Mumbai
February 21 - April 7 2015

As If – IV Night For Day
CHEMOULD PRESCOTT ROAD, Mumbai
March 9 - April 30 2015

As If – tV
Clark House Initiative, Mumbai
March 29 - May 20 2015

AS IF is a series of exhibitions by CAMP across the winter /summer of 2014-15.

Indiancine.ma

Pad.ma has a sister project.

Electronic Ear Cleaning

A project of listening, including with our ears, to some materials that seem to not touch us directly, but make up our "environment".

The Country of the Blind, and Other Stories

60 minute film produced with the National Coastwatch Institution, Folkestone, Kent, UK.
showing at the NCI cabin at Copt Point (10:30 am - 5:00 pm) and in pubs in Folkestone harbour,
as part of the Folkestone Triennial upto September 25, 2011.

A Season of Footage and Films


CAMP presents
Saturday or Sunday evening screenings through winter, exploring footage both within and outside the usual capsule of "the film". An experience that could be similar to watching films, or at other times harder to digest, or slower to release, closer to the moment of shooting, less censorious, and less fearful of finitude. Another life, another world of viewing and listening experiences is always possible.

The Edgware Road Project


CAMP is involved in a 2-year "print-from-web" project, linked to its own investigations of the infrastructures of commerce and pleasure in this part of London. As part of the first "block study", we looked at several buildings and their ownership and use histories, and produced a series of tablemats.

The web-based part of the project resides at http://edgwareroad.org. This website collects materials from various such "studies", conducted by us and others, which then are collaboratively edited and published in a number of physical forms: volumes, pamphlets and placemats. This is an ongoing project, as part of the Serpentine Gallery's Public Program.

CAMP roof

Ashok and Azeer spent some time thinking about and building the CAMP terrace roof structure, built in late 2009. Some of the designs that were sketched out are further below: a big requirement was some retractability, i.e. the ability to have a shading roof in the day but to have it open/ partially open at night, for things like screenings under the stars.

All Projects